09 January, 2016

A Sad Reality Settles In

I've finally come to the place where I am forced to admit that in the times we are living in, people's word, pledge or promises seldom mean anything. It's no wonder the divorce rate is so high. People think that they can go back on their word anytime they change their mind. I was not raised that way. I was raised in a time where a man's (or woman's) word was his bond and a handshake was better than a contract. Now days people can stand before God and witnesses and recite marriage vows without even considering what they are saying, because they can change their mind and walk away with little to no regret. And it's not just about marriage. People today will join themselves to a club, organization or church and recite vows to be committed, faithful and supportive and walk away with no remorse just a short time later. Old timers in these clubs and churches have been with the same one for decades and watch the shuffle of younger generations come in and out with no understanding of the word "commitment." The reality is that in these times we are living in, a man's word is worthless. 

I guess I'm old school and have tried to hold on to those values that I was raised with, but I'm a part of a dying breed. I watch people get married, forming "life-long covenants" three, four and five times. When I married my wife, it was until death do we part. I thought it though and honestly  came very close to not marrying her, not because I did not love her, but because of the weight of that covenant. But when I did, it was forever. At times it's been tough and what held us together was that covenant that we formed and bound ourselves to. I've seen dozens and dozens of people dissolve marriages rather than work through problems and fight for what Libby and I have walked through. But we made a covenant! That means something to us. Unfortunately, it doesn't to most people anymore. 

When I came to pastor this church, I gave them my word... this was not a stepping stone, and come what ever may, I was their pastor until I retire or if/when God changed the plan. I've been here through some tough times for this community as well as the church. I've watched the economy of our town fizzle with thousands of industrial jobs done away with. I've watched literally dozens of families in our church move away for jobs. And I've watched many, many others who stood before God and the congregation and pledged their loyalty to the church walk away when times got tough or a new church sprung up in town. Even in the church, people's word means absolutely nothing anymore.

It's hard for me to say... but I've come to the reality that integrity and faithfulness no longer exists.

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